Flyers Survive Third Period Collapse

5 Jan

WELLS FARGO CENTER — No one seemed to know why, but the Flyers didn’t appear to like playing at Wells Fargo Center. Citizens Bank Park was no better. On the road, they were fine, but an 8-6-2 record at home, like the real home, was not what Peter Laviolette was looking for.

“Home record is not where it needs to be,” said Laviolette. “Road record is excellent. We’ve got to start taking care of these home games and making sure they go in the [win] column. We need some attitude here with how we play the game.”

Attitude, jump, deflation, redemption, it was all accounted for in the Flyers’ 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. As if a test at home wasn’t tough enough, Laviolette’s bunch found themselves down early when Zac Rinaldo turned the puck over and it led to a Jimmy Hayes goal on a tip-in.

Rinaldo wanted to make up for it, so he fought Andrew Shaw to restart his night. He followed with a solid effort in both the offensive and defensive zones. The Flyers regained their composure and tallied in the final minute when Jakub Voracek scored his first goal in nine games on the rebound of a Braydon Coburn point shot.

Shaw scored for Chicago in the second period, but then the Flyers went on a tear. They scored three goals in 4:20 to give themselves a comfy two-goal lead, the most dangerous kind. Scott Hartnell started the comeback with a game-tying one-timer from Claude Giroux.

“It’s always great to have a good shift after an opponent scores a goal to try and get the momentum back,” said Hartnell. “[Matt] Read made a nice play to Giroux. I was popping up in the slot. The puck kind of got deflected and was up in the air and I whacked it out of the air and was able to go five hole.”

Harry Zolnierczyk added his third of the year and James van Riemsdyk his 10th later in the second period.

In the third, the Flyers came unraveled before they could blink. Marc-Andre Bourdon took a shot off the left post and Chicago took the puck the other way where Brent Seabrook ripped a shot to get Chicago within one. Then, only 25 seconds later, Patrick Kane tied it with a point blank shot from the slot.

After a Kane high-sticking call, the Flyers had the opportunity to go ahead on the power play and they took it. Hartnell fed van Riemsdyk down low for the game-winning power play tally with 32.5 seconds left.

“I was yelling for G and he made the better play, I think,” said van Riemsdyk. “He gave it to Hartsy and Hartsy put it right on my tape. All I could do was slide it right into the net.”

Not only did the win improve their record at Wells Fargo Center, but the Flyers kept up in the standings. They remain four points behind the New York Rangers for the best record in the league.

“It’s something that has been emphasized over the last stretch of home games, whenever that was,” said Matt Carle. “We know we need to step it up and if we do the kind of work we do on the road, we’ll be pretty successful team. I think a game tonight will hopefully kickstart some confidence at home and just kind of bring that road mentality to this building.”

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